Gov't could bring forward inflation-linked top-up for pensioners

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Hungary's government could bring forward to early summer an annual inflation-linked top-up for pensioners, Deputy Minister of Finance András Tállai said in conservative daily Magyar Nemzet.

For years, Hungary's government has adjusted pensions to the expected rate of consumer price inflation at the start of the year. However, if the average annual CPI is higher than expected, it tops up pensions to match the difference, retroactively, in November. "The pandemic has created new conditions, and in this situation, the government will strive to help pensioners with all available means," Tállai said.

He noted that amendments to the 2021 budget act submitted to lawmakers a week earlier acknowledge average annual CPI could reach 3.6% this year, 0.6 of a percentage point above the inflation-linked pension increase at the start of 2021. If the government brings forward the annual inflation-linked top-up for pensioners to early summer, Tállai said it would add up to HUF 26 billion for some 2.5 million pensioners. If the average annual CPI exceeds 3.6%, pensioners would get another top-up in November, he added.

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